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Ukrainian officials have claimed that Russia is deliberately stalling the inspection of ships that had left Ukraine as part of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the Kyiv Independent reported.

Some of the ships leaving Ukraine under the United Nations (UN)-brokered grain initiative had been stuck in Turkish waters awaiting inspection for over a month, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry was quoted as saying on 26 December in the report of the same date.

The Russian delegation was deliberately stalling the process, according to the Ukrainian officials.

At the time of the report, a total of 99 vessels were waiting for inspection in the Bosphorus Strait, with 72 of them heading west to be loaded at ports and 27 carrying Ukrainian agricultural products.

“This is the result of purposeful actions of the Russian delegation in the Joint Coordination Center aimed at slowing down the process of ship inspections,” the Infrastructure Ministry was quoted as saying.

The ships were sent under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the UN-backed deal signed in July by Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey, which aimed to unblock Ukrainian grain exports following Russia’s invasion of the country.

Established to coordinate the implementation of the deal, the Joint Coordination Center involves representatives from each member of the agreement.

Turkish Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu was quoted as saying that over 15M tonnes of products had left Ukraine under the agreement since August.

Of that total, 44% of all products exported were delivered to Europe, 29% to Asia, 15% to Turkey and 12% to African countries.